This two-seater fighting scout was the first British aeroplane to have a machine-gun firing through the airscrew disc by means of an interrupter gear, and was also the first to be fitted with a Scarff ring mounting for the observer, later to become standardized.
The name “1½ Strutter” emanated from the splayed centre section struts, which appeared to be composed of “one-and-a-half” struts, the inner short and the outer long.
Upon their arrival on the Western Front as reinforcements for the Battle of the Somme on the 24th of May 1916, Strutters were used for fighting, escort duties, reconnaissance and day bombing. A vast improvement over the ‘pusher’ type machines previously used for such work, Strutters were soon outmatched by the new Albatros and Halberstadt scouts. Even so, the type was used by the air services of many countries throughout the war and became one of the mainstays of the American Expeditionary Forces. It continued in service into the early 1920’s with the United States and Royal Navies in observation duties, flying from wooden platforms fitted to the turrets of battleships.